Do you want people to pay attention to your creative work? You might want to read this first.
1. Know your shit
Bestselling author Steven Pressfield is a big believer in the value of learning on the job. In his latest book, Nobody Wants to Read Your Shit, he talks about how stints as an ad copywriter and screenwriter helped him hone his craft, and learn skills that apply equally to every field of writing.
As an ad copywriter, he quickly learnt that getting words on a page is only the beginning:
“The pros understand that nobody wants to read their shit. They will start from that premise and employ all their arts and all their skills to come up with some brilliant stroke that will cut through that indifference, that clutter, that B.S.”
Welcome to the fourth and final part of The Art of Taking Action series, in which I share a few other ideas from the book I found useful – from Krech and a few of the other contributors.
In part one I wrote about the central ideas in the book The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology, by Gregg Kech, in part two we explored musician Shinichi Suzuki’s thoughts on procrastination and part three considered the stress of not getting things done.
This time, I’ve collected some more of the best ‘notes and quotes’ in a wee magazine for you – just click the link below to view it in your browser.
Read ‘The Art of Taking Action: Quotes and Notes
By the way, I first heard about Gregg Krech on my friend Greg Berg’s excellent podcast Life on Purpose, and today I found out that he’s returned to the show to record another fascinating conversation – both are essential listening for anyone who has found this series helpful.
If you don’t like the magazine format, read on below as usual!
Welcome to part three of The Art of Taking Action series.
In part one I wrote about the central ideas in the book The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology, by Gregg Kech, and in part two we explored musician Shinichi Suzuki’s thoughts on procrastination.
In another excellent essay in the book, Trudy Boyle shares her research on stress, and is keen to point out that not all stress is bad for you – in fact, it’s a normal part of life to some extent, as without some stress we probably wouldn’t achieve anything at all.
There are definitely some stresses which we want to avoid though. Stress caused by procrastination can be particularly harmful to our mental and physical health.
Boyle describes something that feels quite familiar to me – Any fellow freelancers/creative professionals will probably also relate!
“My number one stress creator is not completing a task I have set for myself or following through promptly. The stress is compounded when I take on more than I can deliver in the allotted time. And my final penchant, which makes up what I call my “stress triangle, is to ignore the whole lot until the last sixty seconds!”
But does this matter, as long as we get the work done ‘just in time’? Maybe some of us are just wired to do things at the last minute.